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Contemporary Issues and Solutions


Note that this is a graduation requirement and not a general education requirement; therefore, students transferring into UTK with general education requirements met through transfer coursework will still need to complete this requirement, beginning with those pursuing programs in the 2022-2023 catalog.

Experiences that satisfy the Contemporary Issues and Solutions requirement provide students with the opportunity to integrate the disciplinary ways of knowing, awareness of self and other, and communication and reasoning skills developed through their General Education curriculum with focused inquiry in one or more specific disciplines (often a student’s major) to examine critical issues facing today’s world. Courses or experiences with this designation address a contemporary issue or challenge, defined as a topic that currently affects individuals’ abilities to lead safe, fulfilling, healthy lives and to contribute to productive societies.

Students will complete one approved course (0-3 credit hours).

Learning Outcomes

Contemporary Issues and Solutions -designated experiences will produce the following learning outcomes for students:

  1. Students will be able to reflect on how the knowledge, awareness, and skills they have acquired through their General Education experiences contribute to their understanding of the contemporary issue and possible solutions.
  2. Students will be able to effectively communicate to one or more specific audiences about the contemporary issue, in terms of its history, scientific dimensions, cultural influences, underlying mechanisms, correlates, outcomes, and /or policy implications.
  3. Students will be able to analyze, evaluate, and/or create proposed solutions to a contemporary issue.


Deadline: Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis, but must be submitted no later than October 15 of the year prior to the effective catalog year.

CIS Proposal Form (Word Document)

Subcommittee Members

R.J. Hinde, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Professor of Chemistry, Acting (non-voting) Subcommittee Chair
Monica Black, College of Arts and Sciences
Mark Collins, Haslam College of Business
Alison Connor, Office of the University Registrar
Nick Geidner, College of Communication and Information
Erin Hardin, College of Arts and Sciences
Charissa Powell, University Libraries
Virginia Stormer, Assistant Director for Experiential Learning